With the Great British weather leaving us all uncertain as to whether we should put on sandals or a raincoat over the last week, fashion retailers across the country are struggling with what styles to showcase in-store. However Hunter, the brand famous for its Original boot, has completely refocused its marketing strategy for 2016 to save face from the uncertain UK summertime.

Putting its best ‘boot’ forward, Hunter is stepping away from the traditional fashion calendar to focus on where it has the most connection with customers: festivals. Hunter’s wellington boots have always been synonymous with the mud and wet weather experienced at British festivals like Glastonbury, however, until now the brand has not taken full advantage of the opportunity that these events provide.

As part of the renewed focus, Hunter is set to launch a global tour of festivals throughout 2016. Having a presence at these popular music events will enable the brand to increase engagement with consumers worldwide and reach out to a wider audience, notably the young festival-goers. Attendance is certainly much higher among the 16-24-year-old demographic; Mintel’s Music Concerts and Festivals UK 2015 report found one in five 16-24s attended or were planning to attend a music festival in 2015.

New digital campaign coincides with festival kick-off

From April 2016, Hunter has launched a dedicated festival hub on its website, featuring related content such as a festival essentials packing list; ‘spotlight’ pages focusing on specific events and the brand’s new digital campaign, as well as a behind-the-scenes-style feature film of an imaginary festival.

In a very British move, product pages are even split for wet or dry weather. For the ‘spotlight’ page on Glastonbury, the British festival set to take place in six weeks’ time, the brand has set the ‘mud forecast’ to “unpredictable”. With a dedicated playlist featuring the Glastonbury headliners, Hunter is really maximising its musical connection and creating content that festival-goers will want to engage with.

Appealing to a younger demographic

Our research suggests Hunter’s new marketing strategy should have great appeal among a young audience. Not only are 16-24-year-olds the biggest festival-goers, but they are also the most likely to be using dedicated online festival pages for inspiration. Mintel’s Seasonal Shopping Fashion UK 2015 report found that over a third of under-25s have used a retailer’s online holiday/festival pages to help them decide what to buy, peaking among women of this age.

For these young women, what they wear to a festival can become almost as important as the event itself. Photo sharing on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram is prolific – some three-quarters of female 16-24s have shared a picture of themselves in the past three months, according to our Digital Trends Spring UK 2016 report.

Hunter can capitalise on this during its global festival tour by creating memorable and engaging brand experiences that young consumers will want to share online with their friends. This will not only help Hunter connect with festival-goers at the actual events, but could provide the brand with authentic exposure to others within their social circles.

Finally, we saw last year that Hunter offered personalised wellies to celebrities attending festivals such as Glastonbury, and we think a service such as this could be extended to consumers, as it would provide a great way of engaging with festival-goers while providing a unique and desirable product.

Alice Goody is a Retail Analyst at Mintel where she writes the daily retail news and keeps an eye out for the latest innovations across the retail industry. Prior to Mintel, Alice worked in the fashion industry for retailers including Coast, Ted Baker and Debenhams.

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